Tragic Loss at Hockey Practice

11-Year-Old St-Eustache Boy Dies After Being Struck by Puck

In a heartrending incident at the Complexe Walter-Buswell, an 11-year-old boy lost his life after being struck in the neck by a puck during a routine hockey practice on Tuesday December 12th. The municipality of Saint-Eustache announced the boy’s death on the following Friday morning, marking a somber moment for the community.


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The Incident

The young hockey player, whose identity remains confidential, was actively participating in his team’s practice session on Tuesday evening when the accident occurred. Despite immediate medical attention and transfer to an intensive care unit in Montreal, he tragically succumbed to his injuries.

Community Response

The incident has deeply affected the local community. Saint-Eustache spokesperson Stéphanie Bouchard, along with local authorities, confirmed the boy’s transfer to intensive care before the announcement of his passing. In response, psychological support services are being provided by the Laurentians regional health board, Hockey Québec, and the city of Saint-Eustache.

Jean-Philippe Labrèche, President of the Saint-Eustache Minor Hockey Association, expressed his understanding of the profound impact this event has had on witnesses, parents, volunteers, and supporters of young hockey players.

Safety in Hockey: A Continuing Concern

This tragic event has reignited discussions about safety in hockey, particularly concerning neck protection. In a similar incident, professional hockey player Adam Johnson passed away in October following a skate blade injury to his neck during a game, highlighting the risks associated with the sport.

Marie-Joël Desaulniers from Hockey Québec emphasized that all minor hockey players must wear complete equipment sets, including neck protectors. However, Trent McCleary, a former NHL player who suffered a severe throat injury in 2000, noted that such equipment might not offer substantial protection against high-velocity impacts.

Official Statements and Condolences

The Montreal Canadiens and the mayor of Saint-Eustache, Mr. Pierre Charron, have expressed their condolences to the boy’s family and friends. The Canadiens acknowledged the gravity of the situation in a statement, offering their sympathies to the bereaved.

Mayor Charron described the incident as an unspeakable tragedy, extending his and the community’s support to the boy’s family and all affected parties. He affirmed the city’s commitment to providing support to the Minor Hockey Association and the family of the young player.

Moving Forward

As the community grapples with this loss, discussions about enhancing safety measures in youth sports, particularly hockey, are likely to gain momentum. The tragic passing of the young hockey enthusiast serves as a stark reminder of the inherent risks in sports and the importance of continually reviewing and improving safety protocols.